Saturday, June 15, 2019

May 30th Columbia Wetlands

May 30th:
The weather forecast is for another very hot day but they get is seriously wrong. At El Nido early morning a singing Orange-crowned Warbler is the first of the trip but I may have overlooked the song, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Rufous Hummingbirds plus a family of Dark-eyed Juncos are all at the feeders but also at least five different finches one of which appears to be a male Cassin’s Finch and a brown singing male also sounds like a Cassin’s but a male on the feeders appears to be a Purple Finch as does a female. With the forecast heat we drive south from Golden down the Columbia wetlands stopping at anywhere with access points. Bald Eagles, several pairs of American Ospreys nesting on poles on the roadsides and Turkey Vultures are roadside birds along with some Wild Turkeys but I almost miss a Ruffed Grouse standing on the grass verge and make a hash of reversing as it flushes into the nearby vegetation. A grey morph male its visible and audible walking about under the trees but in dense cover and no photos are possible. It is not hot in fact temperatures are hovering around 14C far from the 26C forecast. The various lakes along the wetlands produce out first Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers, Spotted Sandpipers, various other wildfowl including Trumpeter Swans with young and a Common Loon with a chick on its back while passerines include our first Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Eastern Kingbirds nest building and one landing on the back of a passing Raven plus singing Least Flycatchers and another empid which I again fail to ID. Odes on the valley include an Emerald which seems to be either Muskeg or Whitehouses and a Whiteface. Temperatures rise to 22C by early afternoon but with showers when we take the 93 road through Kootenay National Park but there are no stopping signs, bears on roadside, we see none and most of the trails and car parks are closed after wildfires in recent years so a single Audubon’s Warbler and a singing Chipping Sparrow are a rather poor reward for a long drive. We return to Field for lunch at Truffle Pigs then head back to Golden.

Audubon's Warbler, Bald eagle, Cassin's Finches, Common Loon, Dark-eyed Junco., Eastern Kingbird, Muskeg or Whitehouses Emerald, Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Purple Finch, Red Squirrel, Rufous-Hummingbird, Steller's Jay, Trumpeter Swans, Whiteface sp, 

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